By Natalie Fuerst
It seems that inequality in women’s sports is not just limited to the United States. On February 10th, the National Women’s Soccer team threatened to strike after Canada Soccer, the national governing body of soccer, made cuts to their program.
As a result of these cuts, according to players, the number of players and staff invited to training camps was reduced, youth teams’ activities were limited, and training camp days were decreased. All of this, combined with uncertainty regarding compensation, has players feeling incredibly disrespected.
The Women’s Soccer team has made great strides in the world of female sports, winning Olympic gold in the 2021 Olympics after winning bronze medals in 2016 or 2012.
Despite these strides, the women are reported to have made anywhere between $7,200 and $39,700 USD per season by the league.
The Canadian Soccer Players Association released a statement saying that the federation had threatened legal action against them if they do not prepare for the SheBelieves Cup game they are set to play on February 16th. In said statement, the federation saw the strike by the players as “unlawful”.
According to the players, the federation not only threatened them with legal action to get them to play, but also began the process to collect millions in damages from both the Association of the Players and from individual players.
The captain of the team, Christine Sinclair, tweeted that the game was being played under protest and they were not going to back down and that the team would continue to fight for what they deserve.
Canada Soccer responded by releasing a statement reiterating the strike was illegal and claiming that they were only pushing the team to play, not just for the players’ sake, but also for the sake of their fans.
Despite Canada Soccer’s response, the men’s national team, who had also refused to train last year due to a contract dispute, expressed their support for the women’s team.